Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term used to describe diseases that causes intestinal inflammation.
There are two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. These are known as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis which are both long-term (chronic) diseases which cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract- also known as the gut or bowel.
Indeterminate Colitis is a medical term used to describe inflammation of the large bowel that could be caused by either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. With both conditions the chances of developing either increases if there is a close family relative who also has the same condition.
Another form of inflammatory bowel disease is Microscopic colitis which is less common and is only detected by taking a tissue sample (biopsy) from the bowel.
One of the main differences between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is the part of the gastrointestinal tract that is affected. In cases of ulcerative colitis inflammation only affects the colon and rectum (large bowel). In cases of Crohn’s disease inflammation can occur anywhere in the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus however the small intestine and in particular the part known as the ileum is the commonest part affected.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease can include:
- Mucus or slime with the stools
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
Other, but less common symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease can include:
- Skin rash
- Inflammation irritation around the eyes
- Painful and swollen joints
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Investigated
Blood tests are usually carried out to look for evidence of inflammation.
The consultant may also request that you provide stool samples to rule out infection.
Examination of the small intestine when necessary can be carried out by barium follow through examination or MRI enteroclysis. CT scanning can be very useful to assess the extent of any inflammatory changes particularly if an abscess is suspected.
What our Patients think :
"I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis two years ago. I had returned from a holiday in Greece and had what I thought was holiday- related stomach bug- diarrhoea- which became constant after a week. I saw my GP and was asked to give a stool sample, which showed there was some blood..."
"I’d been plagued with health problems since I was just 18 years old- I am now 42 and feel that thanks to the treatment that I have received by Mr Simon Radley I can make up for lost time and start to live my life to the full again! I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at just 18 years of age, which I found difficult..."
"At 20 years old I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and after trying numerous medications, having an operation to remove a section of the bowel, my only option was to have an Ileostomy. About 8 weeks ago at a private hospital in Wolverhampton I had surgery to create my stoma..."
What are the next steps?
If you think you have this condition or any of these symptoms you will need to seek medical advice.
For more information or to make an appointment:
If you have private medical care or wish to pay to see a consultant:
Take this factsheet along to your own GP and request a referral to one of our consultants.